Finally, a Brand Hits a Home Run with Facebook Ads

In a recent announcement, B2B marketing software giant HubSpot announced that running paid advertisements on Facebook generated a 71% increase in sales from social channels year over year.

This news is huge for Facebook following the GM announcement that they would be eliminating their entire Facebook advertising budget

A couple other fun facts that Dan Slagen, HubSpot’s head of paid lead generation efforts, disclosed were:

  • Return on investment from Facebook ads was 15% better than their other paid channels during the first quarter of this year
  • Site traffic to from Facebook increased 39% year over year

Despite all the positive momentum that HubSpot saw from Facebook ads, Slagen was very cautious and realistic when he described their paid lead generation strategy …

"It's a fallacy that paid leads are easy," he said. "It took time. We looked at planning. We looked at post-click issues. We looked at market seasonality and day-parting."

So now the all important question: What levers did HubSpot pull to deliver this performance?

Slagen cited …

  • 'Like gating' offers on ebooks and product trials that were targeted at marketing directors & decision makers based upon their recent 'like' activity
  • Deployed sponsored stories to build on their existing momentum of users who had already 'liked' the HubSpot brand page
  • Created a custom 'Try HubSpot for 30 days free!' tab on their Facebook page

What this all tells me is that ...

  1. Treat Facebook Ads Like a Big Kid: This case study is living proof that Facebook ads deserve a share of marketers tactical time & energy in planning an effective campaign. Simply 'turning on likes' doesn't actually move the needle -- like any of the traditional or established digital mediums, you need to commit to a diverse marketing mix within the Facebook platform in order to generate real results.
  2. Facebook Can Generate Leads ... For the Right Brand: As other brands come forward with their pro & anti-Facebook advertising stories, it will be interesting to see which types of brands (B2B vs. B2C, for example) will band together and see the best performance.
    • For example, General Motors pulled their automobile advertising on Facebook.
    • Could cars technically be 'un-sellable' on Facebook?
  3. Agencies Need to Be Smarter: When your client comes to you and wants to gain '100,000 likes' just for shits and giggles, agencies need to have the wherewithal to ask intelligent questions:
    • Why do you want 100,000 additional fans?
    • What do you hope to achieve by bringing on these fans?
    • Where does fan acquisition and hard business metrics collide for your brand in the social space?

 What are your thoughts on HubSpot's social success?

Mike Krass | CEO & All-Around Nice Guy </span>

Aside from being the CEO of MKG Marketing, Mike is a dark beer aficionado with a healthy appetite for travel and pushing personal boundaries. A proud graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University, Mike currently calls San Francisco home. Feel free to contact him via Twitter & Email: </div>

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